Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sunday dreamin'

It promises to be a crazy week here, so Hubby and I got the heck out of town on Sunday.  First stop:  Canyon of the Eagles for breakfast brunch.
We sat out on the deck, wondering how much rain we were going to get.  Hubby made friends with the waiter (because he's friendly to complete strangers), and we stuffed ourselves with puff pastries, scrambled eggs, migas, sauteed spicy onions and peppers, bacon and ham, and skillet potatoes.  So good and needless to say, we skipped lunch that day!  Then we headed out to Highlands for the afternoon, and left just before the storms.
As spring merges into summer here, with all of the hoopla so much change, it's nice to have these getaways to help us slow down a bit and relax.  Hopefully, I will be able to stick to my schedule of  last minute reminders this week and keep my wits about me.  Here comes graduation and all that it brings!  Happy last day of May...

Monday, May 29, 2017

Mealplan Monday #145

Busy graduation week here!

Monday - TBD but probably Hubby will grill for he and the boys
Tuesday - Crockpot Mediterranean Pork, Black-eyed pea salad
Wednesday - Freezer meal - Cowboy Casserole, salad
Thursday - Baked Mexican Tilapia, seasoned pinto beans
Friday - Graduation BBQ 
Saturday - Easy Chicken Enchiladas, guacamole salads, rice, leftover cupcakes
Sunday - Anyone's guess

Friday, May 26, 2017

5 thing Friday - burgers, photos, Bubbie, triquetra, weekends

One day last week I took myself and my free burger coupon to Mighty Fine.
I have to say it was better than I remember it being.  The burger was gigantic, fixed just the way I like it (read: mayo) and the onion rings were hot and crispy.  Austin has so many great places to get a burger!  My favorites are Whataburger and Top Notch.  I thought In and Out was pretty meh. P.Terry's and Short Stop are fine if you want an "OK" burger for a quick lunch.  Shake Shack is decent but ridiculously overpriced for what you get.  I love Smashburger - the fries are the bomb! And I had a bulgogi burger at Burger Tex recently that was pretty darn tasty.  I'm no burger aficionado, but I know what I like.  (:
I put together this collection of school photos for Bubbie in a mat and frame combo for $9 from Hobby Lobby. Those school photo packages you get at school?  I had so many photos left over and yet finding each year's pic was tricky!  However, I didn't sob all the way through it, so yay me.
 Bubbie and his GF of 3 years at the final band concert of the year.  So bittersweet!
 They had cupcakes decorated with the senior's baby pics.  Adorable.
I don't know how Bubbie feels about all these "lasts" he's a part of.  I think the month of May has flown by so fast, he hasn't had time to think about it much.  Plus, he started his first job and got a checking account, so in addition to finishing out the school year and all of it's tests and deadlines and applications and activities, he's been BUSY.
Graduation announcements went out yesterday so I feel somewhat on the ball.
I pondered buying one more James Avery charm for my bracelet to call it done, but it was going to be pricey.  So I went on Etsy and found this triquetra medallion, which is exactly what I wanted, and JA soldered it on fo free.  The triquetra is our symbol for Highlands.
Hubby and I enjoyed some wood fired pizza and cool weather on a breezy patio at Saddlehorn last weekend after visiting my mother in Brenham.  Hubby puts up with a lot...  His reward is weekends spent relaxing and sipping wine.  
As it should be.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What I should be doing...

It's one of those days when I have plenty to do, and yet I am finding it hard to get moving!
Not the least of which is make plans for graduation next week - NEXT WEEK.
I still have to figure out the logistics of the day, what we are going to eat and when, what to buy my new grad as a gift (I'm thinking a new laptop), and oh yeah, the announcements need to go out!  It's quiet at the house and I have a full coffee pot.  And I have everything I need to get going. Time to stop procrastinating...

Monday, May 22, 2017

Mealplan Monday #144

Tried and trues, plus a couple of newbies!

Monday- Sloppy Joes, fritos
Tuesday - Indian Spiced Meatballs with spinach, basmati rice
Wednesday - Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad with Ham
Thursday - Parmesan Chicken with roasted potatoes, carrots
Friday - Lime Shredded Pork, taco fixin's
Saturday and Sunday are TBA nowadays!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cowboy Chicken

Christmas before last (I think) I ordered The Girl a recipe box and hand wrote some family favorites to get her started on her own collection of recipes.  She returned the favor by sending me some, too!  For whatever reason, I had not made this one yet.  No idea why - couldn't be easier and it turned out really tasty, though I have no pic of the finished product.  I only know it was great because I packed it for my lunch the next day!
I prepped the sauce ingredients into a bowl and pulled it out of the fridge when I was ready to throw it into the crock.

Cowboy Chicken
1 pkg of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (trim the fat off)
1 T dijon mustard
2 c. fresh salsa - making your own is so easy*
1 can of corn, drained
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
Her directions:
"Literally just throw everything into crock pot for 5 hours on low, then shred chicken, replace for 30 minutes more. Serve either on rice or in corn tortillas with 2% Mexican shredded cheese.  This recipe included 2 T brown sugar and 1/2 c. sour cream.  I cut it out and its still real good."
I love that she's already making the recipe her own!  The only changes I made to her directions is to cook a bit longer on low - 6 hours - and I didn't ask Hubby to shred the chicken as they were going to eat it in bowls over rice.  I chopped the salsa ingredients (pico de gallo) and just added them in.  Same same.
When I leave the house on Tuesday afternoons, this is the scene:  crock pot going, directions posted, kitchen clean, iced tea steeping.  Save me some leftovers, peeps!

*For salsa pico de gallo I finely chop a couple of large tomatoes, a full bunch of chopped cilantro, and a diced small yellow or purple onion.  Toss with the juice of one small lime.  I like ours chunky, but you could also spin this a bit in a food processor.  I make this once a week in the summer and we eat it with tortilla chips, or on tacos or scrambled eggs, and at the end of the week, I use whatever is left in something I am cooking!

Nifty and thrifty. Sort of.

Last week I hit a couple of thrift stores on my way into work.  It's been a while since I've gone, and I wanted to visit a new one close to the hospital.  I don't go looking for anything in particular, though lately I am drawn to clothes more than household goods.
Earlier this month I ordered some new clothes on line, which I was in dire need of.  (and I ended up returning most of it...)  But at the thrift store I couldn't pass up this cool and comfy rayon top that I thought would look cute over shorts or with a skirt. 
Just needs a press.
I also found this tiered skirt in a fun print.  Wrinkly and waaay too long for my 5'3" self, I lopped off the bottom flounce, gave it a quick hem stitch on the machine, and ironed it.  I LOVE IT.  I found a vintage navy tee at target to wear with it, too.  Skirts are one of my favorite things to wear.
The non-clothes items included this wicker wastebasket for The Lounge, mint condition.  And a cute wire basket to hold mail on the bookcase in the hall.
Mostly I am being mindful not to just buy something at a thrift shop just because it's cute or cheap - I want everything in here now to have a purpose, as Hubby and I will eventually need to think about downsizing.  But for less than $18 I have a couple additions to my wardrobe and two useful baskets!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What has Scout been up to?

Let's see...I haven't written about Scout in a while. 
Lately he's...
broken up with his girlfriend, and is dating no one,
working on building himself a new computer,
publishing his electronic music under the name Stratos,
in line for a promotion at the photography studio he works at, and
still doing his own freelance photography thing, too.
Scout isn't interested in furthering his college experience and I haven't pushed - to each his own.  I haven't talked to Hubby about if and when we will force that issue.  He is a decent "house guest" - he rarely makes a mess he doesn't clean up, is willing to pitch in around the house, and is generally available to his family for help (like rescuing Bubbie when he discovered a flat tire after work).  And Austin is not exactly economically friendly to 20 somethings out on their own.
I don't feel like we "baby" Scout by letting him live at home a while longer - I don't clean anything in his room or do his laundry.  He is responsible for paying his cell phone and car note.  And it wouldn't make our house note less not to let him stay.  In other words, completely different than the situation we had with Firstborn.
So, for now, status quo.
But in the next year or so, he will need to figure out what direction to launch himself into and leave the nest. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mealplan Monday #143

Monday - Rotisserie Chicken Salad on croissants, fruit salad
Tuesday - Cowboy Chicken (a recipe from The Girl - will share soon), Spanish rice
Wednesday - Beef Fajita salads, tortilla chips
Thursday - Calamity Ann's Meatloaf, small baked potatoes, peas
Friday - Friday Soup*
When my mother was living on working on her own in Saudi Arabia, she would cook all week long.  Then on Friday, she would dump the leftovers into a pot, add stock, maybe some noodles or rice, and call it soup.  My plan is to use up some bits and bobs in the freezer and do my own version!

Friday, May 12, 2017

5 thing Friday - Crepe Crazy, Jenga, Perissos, new clothes, stuff pile

A few weeks ago I spent the day in Dripping Springs and visited this cozy little restaurant:
 Their specialty is crepes!  I had the granny smith apple, brie, and walnuts crepe, drizzled with honey.  Oh my.
  I also shopped at a few cute places.  As much as I love the Burnet area, Dripping does have its charms.
Giant Jenga is a thing.  Hubby won.  And we both enjoyed a glass of merlot while picking up our quarterly wine shipment from Thirsty Mule.  Although I have to say, I'm not as jazzed about this place and we will likely cancel our membership after the next allocation. favor of Perissos.  Gorgeous scenery, friendly staff, and great wine.  And picnic tables under giant oaks trees where you can sit and enjoy a lazy afternoon sipping wine. 
I did some on-line shopping at Land's End and Old Navy recently and part of it arrived last night.  I am really loving the bright as punch colors that signal SUMMER.  Can't wait to pair these with my huaraches.  I have another two tops, some casual capri's, and a nice dress on their way, too.  My wardrobe definitely needed a spark.
Hubby and I have taken to making lists when we go to Highlands.  That way we don't forget what we want to take up there when we're headed out.  Our pile might contain a case of two buck chuck, bottled water, fire ant granules, the bocce balls set, another dishpan, wasp spray, the screen door to Mabel... It all goes right here in the front room where it cannot be forgotten. 
This weekend I am on call so we will likely not head out there.  Hubby will be busy with a scout function, too.  So Mother's Day is a bit up in the air as yet.  But I'm Ok with that as I will still be close to home and my peeps for two days
Happy Mother's Day Weekend to all of you!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Just dreamin'

Hubby and I spent some time on Saturday doing some spruce up to the back yard - cleaning out gutters, power washing the slab, loading the small BBQ grill up for Highlands, trimming the trees, and blowing out the red rocks.  Then on Sunday we sat outside, sipping wine, and making plans.
Chief among them is removing the red pavers and edging out here and extending the slab.  Replacing the deck.  Removing the rail. Getting a new patio umbrella - this one has seen much better days...and a new grill cover is being ordered.
 And maybe replacing some grass.  {Geez, those pavers have got to go!}
This type of fence I love - I see it everywhere!  It's the upstairs railing at Torr Na Lochs, and this deck railing at Bell Springs.  I think it would be nice on the deck at Rustown.
And we are also dreaming of a pergola, like this one at Bell Springs, though at Highlands instead of Rustown, and made of metal so it's fire-wise.  I love that it has a concrete slab underneath, making it a semi-permanent place for outside seating.  What is it about spring that makes you want to clean things up and build anew? 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday Menus #19

Monday - Roast beef and muenster on ciabatta, chips
Tuesday - Cowboy Beans and corn muffins
Wednesday - Chicken/Avocado/Bacon Salads
Thursday - Taco Spaghetti, salad
Friday - Tuscan Turkey, masheds, green veggie
Weekends meals are up in the air this week...
Dessert is Vanilla Wacky Cake with Lemon Basil frosting

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Coconut pies

I love coconut in pies and on donuts - the soft or macaroon type coconut.  Chewy and nutty.  Sooooo good!  So I decided to make a couple of pies last week - one to eat, one to freeze for later.  This recipe makes two pies and I have plenty of crusts!
 I don't remember where I got the recipe from.  I have had it for years.  It turns out pretty sweet, so you could always adjust the sugar, or just buy unsweetened coconut.
Coconut Pies
3 eggs, well beaten
3 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1 can evaporated mik
1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 t. vanilla
1/4 t. salt
8 oz. shredded coconut
I thawed out my crusts while I gathered up my ingredients.  Then I rolled them out and folded them, rolled them again and folded them - I did that a few times.  It made for flaky crust!
 My pie crusts are imperfectly perfect!
Mix all of the ingredients and divide between two crusts.  Bake in a preheated 350 oven for about 1 hour.
Pies cooling on the stovetop make the house smell so good!
And a slice of pie mid-morning with coffee in a peaceful kitchen is the best thing!
Happy Saturday!


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